Summer is an excellent time to study for the LSAT, especially if you’re a current college student or an unemployed recent graduate. While the summer months may tempt you with balmy weather and carefree beach parties, the good thing about studying over the summer is that you’ll have enough time to get ready for the LSAT and get your daily dose of vitamin D.
Trying to cram your LSAT prep in with all your coursework during the school year will leave you with less free time, more stress, and very likely a lower LSAT score.
So what should your summer LSAT prep schedule look like? First, you should try to spend a full three months studying for the LSAT. So if you’re planning on taking the October LSAT, you should start your prep sometime in early-mid July. You’ll need about six weeks to get a solid understanding of the fundamentals, and then another six weeks to really hone those skills and learn to use them under timed conditions. One benefit of an LSAT prep course is that this schedule is usually planned out for you.
In addition to a schedule, you’ll need solid materials for an effective LSAT prep. For the first part of your prep, this will consist of literature on the mechanics of the different sections (for example, how to break down different types of logical reasoning questions, how to diagram the logic games, etc.). For the second part of the test, you’ll need sections from real LSAT questions, as well as full LSAT practice tests. This is another really good reason to take an LSAT prep course: while self-study will require you to go out and find these materials on your own, a prep course will provide you with everything you need.
Perhaps the most critical part of studying for the LSAT is establishing a prep schedule and sticking with it. LSAT prep can be overwhelming, so it’s important that you prepare yourself mentally for what you’re about to do. Make sure your schedule is realistic: don’t try to do a timed practice LSAT every day, or go through an entire book on Reading Comprehension in one sitting. Get all of your materials, pull out a calendar, and space your prep out so you can be productive without getting burned out. Try to do an hour or two every day, and be consistent. Most importantly, stick with your prep all the way through to the day of the LSAT. If you’re a student and you’re taking the October LSAT, it will be easy to sideline your prep in favor of your schoolwork. While your classes are also important (aside from your LSAT score, your GPA is the most important factor in law school admissions), make sure to stay focused and push through to the end with your LSAT prep. The last few weeks before the LSAT is often the time when students make the most progress, so working hard all the way through could make the difference between a top-tier law school and, well, this place.
Hank Layton edits Most Strongly Supported, a law school and LSAT blog from Blueprint LSAT Preparation.